Day 4 - Men's Qualifying Final - New Zealand 70 def Tahiti 48

With temperatures tipping a stifling 34 degrees in the stadium, the conditions for New Zealand’s cross over match were already in favour of their opponents, Tahiti.

Each attempted to gain a psychological advantage, with respective teams bellowing out spirited Hakka’s.

Both teams traded early three-pointers, signalling that a tight match was to ensue.

New Zealand’s early time out was call for a tactical change as Tahiti took an initial lead and looked dangerous.

Tahiti set to shut down tall timber New Zealand’s Jack Salt (6 points, 8 rebounds), with a tight zone defence, but his side still managed 23 first half rebounds.

Both teams were guilty of 9 turnovers in the first half but late foul shots helped steady New Zealand.

Cool heads prevailed in the second quarter, as New Zealand weathered the initial barrage from Tahiti, and earning themselves a buffer on the scoreboard.

Winding down to half time, New Zealand point guard Jayden Bezzant (8 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) expertly ran down the clock, exposing Raymond Penny (16 points, including 4 three-pointers) for an open shot, taking their lead to 14 points at the main break (23-37), with 40 per cent from long range the difference.

A gutsy drive from Tahitian guard Tepoea Teurua (7 points, 6 rebounds) tried to spark his side into a third quarter resurgence.

New Zealand had a momentary lapse late in the third quarter, and the Tahitian quick hands capitalised on any mistakes, converting 16 points from turnovers.

In a highly skilful display from both teams, Tahiti’s speed and finesse was no match for New Zealand’s sheer size and bulk.

A huge rejection from New Zealand’s Denhym Brooke (7 points) late in the final quarter cemented his side’s win and contention for this year’s title.

In an impressive all round performance, including a total of 16 assists, New Zealand ran out winners 48-70.

Laura Mock – The Reporters’ Academy.


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2014 FIBA Calendar

FIBA Central Board Meeting
Barcelona, Spain 1st to 2nd February

FIBA Men's World Cup Draw
Barcelona, Spain 3rd February

FIBA Oceania Office Opening 
Canberra, Australia 28th February

FIBA Oceania Board Meeting
Canberra, Australia 1st to 2nd March

Samoa Basketball Federation
Annual General Meeting March (date to TBC)

FIBA Women's World Cup Draw
Istanbul, Turkey 15th March

FIBA Extraordinary Congress
Istanbul, Turkey 16th March

ONOC Assembly                                          
Guam 2nd to 4th May

FIBA Oceania Congress
Sydney, Australia 9th to 11th May

Basketball New Zealand
Annual General Meeting May 23rd, Wellington

FIBA World Championship for U17 Women               
Bratislava, Slovakia 11th to 20th July

Micronesian Games                                       
Pohnpei, FSM 20th to 29th July

FIBA World Championship for U17 Men                   
UAE - Dubai 8th to 16th August

Youth Olympic Games                                  
Nanjing, China 16th to 28th August

FIBA Congress
Barcelona, Spain 26th to 28th August

World Championship for Men                       
Madrid, Spain 30th August to 14th September

World Championship for Women                   
Istanbul, Turkey 27th September to 5th October

Special Olympics Australia
Melbourne, Australia 20th October to 25th October

Oceania U19 Qualifications for Men & Women

Suva, Fiji 1st December to 6th December


Livestats Training in Suva Fiji